Spoilers ahead. Maybe you just pressed play on Netflix’s Brand New Cherry Flavor and are feeling a bit out of sorts. That premiere is a real doozy, right? Or maybe you’re debating whether you should give the horror show a try, but are a little scared of the poster. The cherry eyeball in the mouth is rather off-putting, I get it. Either way, you’re looking for a bit more info on what you’re getting yourself into with the limited series based on the Todd Grimson novel of the same name. Luckily, we are here to help with a handy-dandy guide to watching Brand New Cherry Flavor.
Let’s just come right out and say it: The eight-episode series is not for the faint of heart. Like, if you are a “read the Wiki before seeing a scary movie” type, you might want to keep reading to make sure this is worth the stress. Loss of appetite could definitely be a result of watching. Why? Well, the series, streaming now, is full of blood, guts, and kittens being thrown up. (Much more on that later.)
Lisa Nova (Rosa Salazar) is an up-and-coming director whose short film has earned her a meeting with struggling producer Lou Burke (Eric Lange). Let’s just say he has some things in common with Harvey Weinstein, which may be triggering to some viewers. His bad behaviour ultimately leads Lisa to seek out revenge and make a deal with a devil — quite literally.
Catherine Keener is giving off some major Get Out energy with her performance as Boro, a witchy woman who drinks cat’s blood — yes, that’s the deal with all the kitty up-chucking — and will help you make your enemy’s life a living hell. If you are into the occult, you might be in for a treat with all of Boro’s dark magic and Stevie Nicks fashion sense.
The problem is, Boro also makes your life a living hell, too. Something Lisa learns a tad bit too late. (All the kittens she ralphs up — and there are a lot — are payment for Boro’s unique services.) Soon, people are being burned alive, ripping out their own eyeballs, and having non consensual lobotomies as a result of Lisa’s desire for vengeance. It’s all a bit gross, but it’s also an allegory for the price of fame and artistic freedom. Does that make it any easier to watch? Hell no, but, some might be happy to hear it’s not all gore for gore’s sake. There is something more that this series is driving at. And like a car crash, it's hard to look away.
In all honesty, when it comes to watching Brand New Cherry Flavor, it really depends on your tolerance for strange bodily fluids, animal cruelty, and weird food concoctions in the name of all things macabre. Word to the wise: If you have a weak stomach, look away anytime Keener brings out the blender.
For those who love The Haunting of Bly Manor, there are some ghostly elements to this series in the form of a horrifying creature that keeps showing up in Lisa’s nightmares. There is also a love story that is more horny than romantic, which might be your thing. Especially once you’ve seen Salazar and Jeff Ward, who plays Hollywood heartthrob Roy Hardaway, together.
There are some Lost-like mysteries surrounding Boro’s true identity that I won’t spoil here. Though, I will say there are no polar bears or smoke monsters, but there is a jaguar-print chaise lounge that’s got quite a tale. But the biggest mystery of all might be what happens in the final shot of Lisa’s short film.
Throughout Brand New Cherry Flavor, those who’ve seen her film question how she managed to get her final shot. Is it CGI or some other bit of movie magic? When I finally saw Lisa's movie ending, which is revealed in episode 5, it had me thinking back to my slack-jawed reaction to that Hereditary scene that some consider to be the most disturbing scene put to film. Brand New Cherry Flavor's reveal is very much not for the squeamish, but a worthwhile pay-off for anyone with a strong constitution.
So to recap: If unsettling kitten-filled body horror is your bag, then press play and let us know what you think. If not, I heard Kissing Booth 3 is pretty good.